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Ageing, Health, and Productivity: The Economics of Increased Life Expectancy


  • Garibaldi, Pietro
    (Professor of Economics, University of Torino, Italy, and Director and Fellow, Collegio Carlo Alberto, Italy)

  • Oliveira Martins, Joaquim
    (Senior Economist, Economics Department, OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), France)

  • van Ours, Jan
    (Professor of Labour Economics, Tilburg University, The Netherlands, and Professional Fellow, University of Melbourne, Australia)


Increase in life expectancy is arguably the most remarkable by-product of modern economic growth. In the last 30 years we have gained roughly 2.5 years of longevity every decade, both in Europe and the United States. Successfully managing ageing and longevity over the next twenty years is one of the major structural challenges faced by policy makers in advanced economies, particularly in health spending, social security administration, and labour market institutions. This book looks closely into those challenges and identifies the fundamental issues at both the macroeconomic and microeconomic level. The first half of the book studies the macroeconomic relationships between health spending, technological progress in medical related sectors, economic growth, and welfare state reforms. In the popular press, longevity and population ageing are typically perceived as a tremendous burden. However, with a proper set of reforms, advanced economies have the option of transforming the enormous challenge posed by longevity into a long term opportunity to boost aggregate outcomes. The basic prerequisite of a healthy ageing scenario is a substantial structural reform in social security and in labour market institutions. The second part of the book looks closely into the microeconomic relationship between population ageing and productivity, both at the individual and at the firm level. There is surprisingly little research on such key questions. The book contributes to this debate in two ways. It presents a detailed analysis of the determinants of productivity, with a focus on both the long-run historical evolution and the cross sectional changes. It also uses econometric analysis to look into the determinants of the various dimensions of individual productivity. The volume concludes that the complex relationship between population ageing and longevity is not written in stone, and can be modified by properly designed choices. Contributors to this volume - Axel Borsch-Supan, University of Mannheim, Germany Brigitte Dormont, University Paris Dauphine, and CEPREMAP, Paris, France Pietro Garibaldi, Fondazione Rodolfo DeBenedetti, University of Turin and Collegio Carlo Alberto, Italy Vincenzo Galasso, Bocconi University and IGIER, Italy Pekka Ilmakunnas, Helsinki School of Economics, Finland Enrico Moretti, University of California, Berkeley, USA Joaquim Oliveira Martins, OECD and Sciences-Po, Paris, France Florian Pelgrin, Universite du Lausanne, Switzerland Vegard Skirbekk, IIASA-Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria Marc Suhrcke, University of East Anglia, UK Jan van Ours, Tilburg University, The Netherlands Etienne Wasmer, Sciences-Po, Paris, France Matthias Weiss, University of Mannheim, Germany

Suggested Citation

  • Garibaldi, Pietro & Oliveira Martins, Joaquim & van Ours, Jan (ed.), 2010. "Ageing, Health, and Productivity: The Economics of Increased Life Expectancy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199587131.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199587131

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    Cited by:

    1. Carlo Ciccarelli & Matteo Gomellini & Paolo Sestito, 2019. "Demography and Productivity in the Italian Manufacturing Industry: Yesterday and Today," CEIS Research Paper 457, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 16 May 2019.
    2. Werding, Martin & Primorac, Marko, 2018. "Old-age provision in transition: the case of Croatia," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 576-593, October.
    3. Oliver Falck & Siegfried Schönherr, 2016. "Eine Agenda für Wirtschaftsreformen in Kroatien: ein umfassendes wirtschaftspolitisches Reformpaket im Auftrag der kroatischen Staatsstiftung," ifo Forschungsberichte, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 70, October.
    4. Philip McCann, 2017. "Urban futures, population ageing and demographic decline," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 10(3), pages 543-557.
    5. Federico Barbiellini & Matteo Gomellini & Lorenzon Incoronato & Paolo Piselli, 2020. "The Age-Productivity Profile:Long-Run Evidence from Italian Regions," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 2019, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    6. Paweł A. Strzelecki, 2019. "Health, disability and labor force participation trends in Poland," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 3, pages 31-53.
    7. Victoria Fan and William Savedoff, 2014. "The Health Financing Transition: A Conceptual Framework and Empirical Evidence - Working Paper 358," Working Papers 358, Center for Global Development.

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